Future Conversations with my Dad

I saw my counselor this morning.

We talked about a few things, but my relationship with my dad came up a lot. I am currently in a transitional period with regards to my views on my dad. I spent almost twenty-three years living under the assumption he was trying his best to be a good father, and that his best simply wasn’t good enough. I assumed he cared, but had trouble expressing this fact through his actions.

I recently came to the conclusion that my dad was not trying his best. I believe that he never did care, and he never will. I have reached this conclusion in response to a recent event wherein my dad essentially abandoned my sister. I am extremely sad and angry and hurt, but I haven’t told my dad any of this. In the past, he has reacted with a lot of anger when criticized in any way. I am scared of what would happen if I told him everything I’m thinking.

I have also recently been questioning my dad’s level of comfort with my sexual orientation. He was raised in Northern Ireland in a conservative, Protestant family, so I have always suspected that having a gay daughter isn’t his favourite. When I initially came out to my dad, all he said was, “I just want you to be happy,” which I assumed was positive. But I have never understood whether my dad just tolerates my sexual orientation , or is truly indifferent about it.

This train of thought was set off when my dad asked me when he will get to meet my “new friend,” in reference to my girlfriend. Maybe he would have said the same thing if I was dating a man, but I can’t help but think he purposely avoided validating my same sex relationship.

Anyways, in response to both of these issues, my counselor has suggested that I tell my dad how I am feeling. I initially dismissed this idea, but part of me wants to do it so badly. I want to be clear about what my dad thinks of me. I want to tell me dad how much he has hurt my sister and myself. I want to stop smiling through coffee meetups and lunches as if nothing is wrong.

I haven’t decided whether these conversations will happen. But this will on be on my mind for the foreseeable future.

Anyways, I am getting very tired. I hope everyone is well, and I will hopefully post again soon.

Sarah

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Quick Gay Vent

This post won’t be eloquently written. Okay, none of my posts are eloquently written. But this is material I was going to share in text-venting-to-friend format and subsequently decided I would spare said friend and vent this to the world. Well, my tens of followers.

My point is, my thoughts are not organized in any way, and the purpose of this post is for me to describe my current feelings in order to make sense of them. Basically, it’s all about me. I’m sorry.

Let’s jump in. As I’ve alluded to in earlier posts, I identify as gay/lesbian, but am not entirely sure I’m not bisexual. I’ve felt this way for about two years, so it might be a while before I finally figure it out. But it leads to a lot of inner turmoil.

Firstly, I feel like a liar. All the time. When I tell people I’m gay, there’s a nagging voice in my head telling me I haven’t told the whole truth. But the whole truth isn’t concise enough for daily conversation. If there were one word to describe how I feel, I would gladly use it. But there isn’t. Maybe reverse bi-curious? Although I think “bi-curious” implies you are in the process of exploring your possible bisexuality, which I am definitely not. I just live my life and hope that I figure this out at some point.

I should mention that I don’t want to be bisexual.

That sounds terrible, and it is terrible, but it’s true. Bisexual people deal with way more shit than gay and lesbian people at this point (at least in this society). I love fitting the lesbian stereotype of cat-loving, introverted homo who wears converse and men’s shirts on the daily. But the stereotypes for bisexuals are all negative. They’re seen as greedy, slutty, and unsure of their sexuality. Some people see them as half-gays who aren’t really part of the LGBTQ+ community. I love the way my gayness is becoming a larger part of m identity, but because of the stereotypes, people won’t perceive me the way I want to be perceived if it turns out I am bisexual. So anyways, all this is going on in my head.

But I hate feeling like a liar. I would rather know I’m bisexual and unlearn my internalized biphobia (which I need to do regardless), than never know. I’m often terrified that, after screaming from the rooftops about how gay I am, I will fall in love with a man. By the way, I know it might seem like I’m attaching too much of my identity to my queerness, but I am coming to love it and I feel like I have found my people.

I’m starting to experience feelings that I haven’t felt since grade 7, when I began (and then officially decided to end) questioning my sexuality. I felt dirty and unlovable. I remember once telling two close friends that I wasn’t sure if I was straight. I thought they wouldn’t want to be friends with me after I told them that. I couldn’t love myself or expect other people to love me if I wasn’t straight.

These feelings are resurfacing as I battle with not knowing, feeling like a liar, fearing biphobia, and wondering if I’m denying my existent bisexuality due to internalized biphobia. I feel dirty. I feel unloveable.

I didn’t even feel this way when I found out I liked women. And I thought that made me bi at the time. Maybe spending more time among the LGBTQ+ community has made me fear the ostracizing that exists within the community.

Anyways, this all came to mind because I was talking to a man on a dating app. Sometimes I change my settings on dating apps so I see both men and women, sort of to test whether I’m attracted to men. Usually, doing this reaffirms my lesbianism because you find some interesting characters on Tinder. Today, I wondered for the first time whether I’m trying to make myself straighter by talking to men and trying to feel attracted to them. I never considered that homophobia could play a role in all these thoughts. I just don’t know what to think. Here are some contradicting pieces of evidence:

The only relationship I have ever cared about/ sex I have ever enjoyed was with a woman.

I only dated three men, and they were all kind of meh, so maybe that’s why.

I used to be super convinced I was ultra-straight. I would have conversations about how straight I was.

But that’s the most homosexual thing I have ever heard of, minus Mike Piazza’s press conference to tell everyone he was straight.

I currently want to date a woman, and do not want to date a man.

I am still having trouble letting anyone in after my breakup, so maybe I want to date a woman and a man equally but because I think I’m gay I’m looking for a girlfriend but I would be equally into a boyfriend?

I’m definitely more attracted to women than to men. And I don’t mean that I find women attractive more often than I find men attractive; I mean I would feel like I’m settling if I was with a man.

I was attracted to Bennett in season one of Orange is the New Black. Like 10/10 would sleep with. But wouldn’t date. Even if he wasn’t a shitty person, I wouldn’t want to go around living life with him. (I know this is a fictional character, by the way.)

I don’t know. There’s probably a million other things and they swirl around my brain all day and I don’t know. I have “tried on” the label of bisexuality in the past, and it just didn’t feel right, but maybe that’s the internalized biphobia? I feel like a dirty, tainted gay just talking to men on dating sites. I should stress that I don’t feel any of these things towards other bisexuals; I just… I don’t know)

There are a million other things I could say about this, but I need to get ready for queer pub night. This post did not end up being quick at all whoops.

Sarah

July 9th, 2017

Once again, it has been a while. I haven’t had anything incredibly meaningful to write about; I’ve just been living life. Getting up in the morning, eating, doing chores, and going to bed. Lots of times. But I’ve stumbled across some extra time, so I figured I would provide an update on what’s going on in my life.

Things are generally going well; I’m still the happiest I’ve been in quite a while. I’m taking one Summer course and managed to land a super easy, fun job. I have stumbled upon a group of queer friends to hang out with, so I’m feeling a lot less lonely. But I do still miss being in a relationship. That being said, I am completely over my previous relationship with Jenn. With every passing day, I realize how much I was settling to avoid being alone.

I am (ideally) going into my final year of undergrad this Fall. I need to take a full course load both to pull it off, but I think I can do it. This also means applying for grad school in a few months, which makes me want to crap my pants. I’m looking to study in Germany, which is really excited as a faraway dream and really terrifying as an approaching reality. And after that, I will need to get a real job. And what if I change my mind about my career path? What then? I want to work as a public policy analyst, but I’m having doubts about working for the Canadian government. The more I learn about colonialism, the more the Canadian government seems like an illegitimate, unethical institution. But the point of my chosen career is that I think I can enact more change from the inside, so maybe it’s better to work on Indigenous issues from within the government. I don’t know.

I’ve still been having a lot of anxiety about the prospect of being bisexual instead of a lesbian. But I’ve been working on breaking down my internalized biphobia, so I feel a lot better about it. I still don’t know whether I am attracted to men, but I’m okay with not knowing. Whatever man-made label most accurately describes my complex human reality, I am part of the queer community and I love it. And I love myself.

That’s really it for now. I’m starting to feel a little depressed and out of it for no good reason, so I’m going to try being productive as that often makes me feel better.

Hope everybody is doing well,

Sarah

Coming Out to Myself (Part 2)

Chapter 4: Orange is the New Black

I recognize that the straightgirlest thing one could possibly say is that Ruby Rose turned them gay. I do not claim that. But as somebody who built an identity as a straight girl for over two decades, Ruby is someone I actually allowed myself to feel attracted to. She was androgynous and gender-fluid, and every straight girl was attracted to her. It was innocent enough. As I fell for Ruby’s character Stella, I watched romantic relationships between women playing out on the show.  I began to find myself wanting what those women had (minus the orange jumpsuits). My list of “Women I would be with IF I was gay” grew suspiciously long. I began questioning assumptions about myself that I had clung to since I was 12.

Chapter 5: Questioning

As I had in the seventh grade, I began obsessing about my sexuality once again. Only this time, I wasn’t scared. This time, I didn’t think being queer was a sin, and I didn’t hate myself for thinking I might fall into that category. Also, the world had changed. There is still a lot of work to be done before the LGBTQ+ community gets to enjoy equality, but this dream is getting closer every year, and certainly a lot changed betweeen 2007 and 2015. So I was able to question my sexuality with the comfort that I would be loved by myself (well, I’m working on that) and others regardless of the answer.

Chapter 6: Jennifer

Not once did I non-ironically refer to this person as Jennifer during our relationship, but I am still healing from our breakup 9 months ago, and using her entire first name feels delightfully cold and indifferent.
But Jennifer will always be an important part of this story, whether I like it or not.

Jennifer is also in math (technically she’s in the Actuarial program, which some might argue is more commerce/finance than math, but I digress) I first noticed her at an event hosted by the Math and Stats Society. And I overheard her saying something about her ex-girlfriend, so I knew she was into girls. I told my housemate about the “Asian girl with the short hair” that I thought was cute. My housemate, a co-president of the Math and Stats society, actually knew this girl. One day, she texted me saying Jenn was bored and wanted to meet me. So I hurried to campus on 3 hours of sleep, and we talked for about an hour before she had to go to class. I was 85% sure I was attracted to Jenn, but part of me was terrified to get involved only to realize I was actually straight like an asshole. But I met with Jenn on campus one or two more times, and at some point, we made a coffee date. Two days before this date, I invited her over to watch Juno with my housemate, her boyfriend, and I, mainly to avoid the third-wheel experience. Jenn came over, everybody drank and watched Juno, and that was the night I first slept with a woman whoops. That experience confirmed for me that I was indeed attracted to girls, and even more so, that I wanted to be with Jenn. A couple weeks later, we were official.

Chapter 7: What About Men?

At this point, I still wasn’t ready to define my sexuality. The question had always been whether I was straight or bisexual, but actually being with a woman lead me to question whether I was attracted to men at all. It took months from the start of the relationship to really figure this out, but Jenn didn’t mind, and neither did I since it wasn’t immediately relevant to my life. I tried on the label of “bisexual” for a week, but it didn’t feel right. Eventually, last Summer, I began identifying as a lesbian. Well, I typically prefer the term “gay” for some reason, but you get the point. I still wasn’t 100% sure, but I was sure enough for the label not to feel like a lie.

Chapter 8: Now

I am now single, as you’ll know if you read my pitiful post-breakup posts. That was a rough time. Anyways, I am exclusively dating women at this time. Sometimes, I still question whether I am attracted to men on some level, but this usually ends with me deciding I am not. At the very least, I know I am more attracted to women than to men, and I have no desire to date a man at this time.

Maybe I prefer the word “gay” to “lesbian” because to me, it allows for some ambiguity. It’s not officially an umbrella term, but it feels a little umbrella-ey to me. Sometimes I think about using the label “bisexual”, even as an insurance policy, so nobody accuses me of lying if I end up falling in love with a man. But it just doesn’t feel right at all. Maybe I am just trying to avoid the shit bisexuals get from both straight and queer people, or the hypersexualization of bisexuality. Maybe I enjoy men not constantly assuming I’m interested in them, or I’m thinking in all-or-nothing terms and bisexuality feels like a middle-ground. This stuff kicks around in the back of my mind sometimes, but identifying as “gay” still feels right.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

So that was a long story, and it might not even be over. But that is how I discovered I was not straight after 21 years of believing I was.

Sarah

 

Grumpy

You know the stereotypes you always hear about women on their periods?

I am that stereotype. She is me. We are one.

I actually had an amazing day. Things have been going really well for me lately.  Well, except for the episode of Game of Thrones playing out in my underwear and the godawful cramps. But aside from that, I was happy as a clam with my hot water bottle and my chocolate bar.

And then one stupid thing happened and I’m complaining to everybody at once because I want validation for my anger. Now.

I got high with a guy friend the other night, and at one point he said something about me being a tease. It made me really uncomfortable, but I didn’t say much. I texted him today, hoping I would mention my discomfort and he would explain that he was kidding or whatever. But he was weird and gross and like “Ok. Not going to happen. I get it.” I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT BEING A LESBIAN ON THE DAILY SINCE I MET YOU. DID THAT NOT HELP YOU GET IT? Anyways, so now I get to toss this good friendship in the garbage because I don’t feel comfortable hanging out if he’s thinking of me in that way. And this is the second time this has happened this year. I’ve started telling boys I’m gay as soon as I meet them, but apparently, even that’s not enough.

Despite all my male friendships going to shit for this reason, there are ZERO women revealing their romantic feelings towards me.

Ugh.

Sarah

Coming Out to Myself (Part 1)

This post isn’t going to be about mental illness. Unless you view homosexuality as such, in which case you can go fuck yourself after first reading this. (I’ll take any views I can get)

But anyways, this is going to be a gay post. Because I suppose I am that. And somehow, I managed to live 21 years before figuring that out. This fact makes me fear that others will not believe me. It even causes me to occasionally not believe myself. Thus, I spend a lot of time reflecting on those 21 years, and how I missed something so important while living them. And the story I uncover is one I would like to share, if only for confirmation that my experience is valid. This story ended up getting long pretty quickly, so I have split it into 2 parts.

To avoid Rachel Maddowing you further with an infinite preamble, I will now begin the story about the time I thought I was straight for 21 years.

Chapter 1: Grade 7

The first time I remember considering my sexuality was grade 7. I thought I might be developing crushes on some of my female friends, and I was terrified. I was a Christian at the time, and believed homosexuality was a sin. I hated myself for even questioning my sexuality, and prayed every single day that I was indeed straight. I ruminated on the issue for what felt like months (but I was 12, so it may have been a week and a half), and then one day I definitively decided that I was straight and that I would not question that fact ever again. I thought that if I spent more time wondering whether I liked girls, the devil would somehow get into my thoughts and make it true. I don’t know how much of this ridiculous belief came from religion and how much from OCD-related superstition, but it was there, regardless. I forced the question out of my consciousness, and carried on with my wonderful, straight life.

Chapter 2: The Boyfriend Years

I have had a total of 3 relationships and one depression-induced hookup situation. You will soon learn that depression was a recurring theme during the boyfriend years.

My first relationship with a man was actually the best. I was 16, all of my friends were in relationships, and my best friend was a guy. Part of me always knew I wasn’t attracted to Liam romantically, but I had methods for dealing with this pesky fact. Sometimes, I told myself that this was a good opportunity to gain experience being in a relationship. I told myself that all high school relationships felt this way. But mostly, I shoved the inconvenient thoughts deep inside my mind, where they would resurface every few months only to be shoved away again. I actually look back on my time with Liam fondly. He was really sweet, he was my best friend, and we were just a couple of dumb kids living our high school lives. I broke up with him suddenly after becoming much more religious, more social, and less bored working at Christian camp. I still feel  bad about that.

In a way, Christian camp indirectly lead to my second relationship. I decided to stop taking my antidepressants (which I had started taking the previous Spring), because I needed to “trust God to help with my anxiety and depression.” To be clear, this wasn’t a message communicated by the Christian camp, I just have a way of taking things way too far. So I was depressed, and anxious, and lonely. And a guy in my history class started giving me attention. Conor and I were together for around 8 months, during which time we repeatedly broke up and got back together. It wasn’t a great relationship, but I couldn’t handle being alone, so I kept returning. The relationship ended for the final time just before I began my first year of university.

The things I learned in university began giving me doubts about Christianity. These doubts compounded over time, and the answers that used to satisfy me didn’t anymore. I stopped considering myself a Christian in August 2013, leaving me with no friends, no hobbies, no identity, and no purpose for living. I developed Bulimia that Fall, and experienced my first Major Depressive Episode in the Winter. I began sleeping with some jerk from gymnastics, because he was giving me attention when I desperately needed it. That ended when he left me at a pub for having a drink because apparently he didn’t want to deal with me being drunk in his car. Ah, the memories.

I met my third and final boyfriend during this same depressive episode. I was still desperate for some kind of attention, so I began dating this person despite knowing I was not attracted to him. The relationship was awful, but it was less awful than being alone with my depression. I don’t say this person’s name, because that relationship ended with a traumatic incident that left me incredibly mentally unwell and affects me in some ways to this day.

Chapter 3: Anorexia

As I mentioned earlier, I had been Bulimic since Fall 2013, but mentally I was not terribly consumed by my disorder. Bingeing and purging helped me cope, but the idea of stopping didn’t seem like the end of the world. But when the aforementioned traumatic incident took away my appetite and lead to quick weight loss, I was instantly hooked. I told myself I would not start eating more once my appetite improved, and I didn’t. I want to be clear that I do not think Anorexia is more serious than Bulimia. I am only saying that my eating disorder happened to become more restrictive and more serious at the same time. Anorexia took over my life, and I was not physically or mentally capable of feeling attraction for anybody. I had no desire to be in a relationship, as my only care in the world was losing weight. It took two stays in Day Hospital to get me on track towards recovery.

To Be Continued….

 

Great Fucking Night

Warning: Author is tipsy. Reader discretion is advised.

My sarcasm game in the title is strong.

Hello, everybody. It has been a little bit since I’ve written. I think I always say that.

I’m pissed. I’m fucking pissed at everyone and everything and I hate it. Tonight is Math and Stats pub night (Sorry, I can’t be tamed). I had to miss the last Math and Stats pub night because my ex went and rounded up a whole group of her friends to go with her. I was determined to go this time, and I still am. My roommate agreed to go with me earlier this week, but she’s having a pathetic meltdown because of a midterm she knew was today when she agreed to come with me.

I have OCD. I get incredibly triggered when plans are changed on me. So I know I’m being a colossal fucking bitch, but how about you rally because it’s a midterm? The professor uses different grading schemes, so that midterm doesn’t even need to count. Get a grip. She didn’t even tell me she wasn’t going with me anymore until I asked.

I have been looking forward to this event all week because I have zero time to socialize ever. And now I’m going alone and I may not know anybody and my ex may or may not be there, but that’s neat. Did I mention I have Social Anxiety Disorder? So my roommate wrote a midterm that doesn’t even count, and that is grounds to trigger everything.

Not to mention the fact that I am actually lonely as fuck. I miss having somebody so much, and it’s incredibly hard to meet queer women because they’re a much smaller proportion of the population than straight men. Part of me just wants to take some guy home to feel better about my life, but I’m really not about that life right now. Unless maybe they’re trans and I don’t have to deal with a penis. I’m being really inappropriate; I apologize.

I’m just really fucking sad and everybody is letting me down which was my entire fucking childhood because I’m an idiot. Wish me luck at finding somebody to love me because I’m going to be a sad, pathetic asshole until then.

 

Sarah.

PS: Probably more drunk than tipsy at this point. Let’s pretend I live in a timezone where it isn’t 6:46. It was 7:46 at this time a couple of weeks ago? I’ll stop.